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Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Book on Ryan Adams: GET IT!


So last night, I finished reading David Menconi's new book: Ryan Adams: Losering, a Story of Whiskeytown. I thought that by now, I'd read just about every article there was about Ryan Adams, so I wasn't expecting to learn anything new from this book. But I was wrong. I literally couldn't put it down!

It turns out David interviewed a bunch of Ryan's old friends and bandmates (including Phil Wandscher) from his days in Raleigh. Menconi offers first hand accounts of some of Whiskeytown's first gigs, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the crazy Replacements-like concert stories. He writes about feuds with Rhett Miller, does a pretty insightful song analysis of Ryan's ex-girlfriend Leona Naess' self titled break-up album in 2003 with Rock n' Roll, breaks down song by song highlights of all of his albums, and overall paints a pretty clear picture of Adams.

My only complaint is that I would liked to have seen more info on Ryan's solo years. Over half of the book is about Whiskeytown (which I suppose is what the story's about). But from Heartbreaker on, he seems to leave out a lot of details of the recording sessions, and barely mentions the incredible shows he performed from 2000 onward. (Although he briefly talks about Red Rocks, and the famous "Summer of 69" Nashville show.) Also I didn't always agree with his song reviews where he calls some of his songs flat out "stupid", and fails to see the greatness of Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights.

Still, I'd have to say, if you're a fan, this is the definitive book.
Get it at:
http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/books/menrya.html

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